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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My headshot is freezing!


I’m right there with those who’ve complained that my profile picture needs thawing. Trees and flowers are in bloom, birds are singing and the blissful warmth of summer beckons.

Yet, there I am, three times a week, still looking like I’m dressed for an expedition to wrestle the fabled Yeti off the slopes of Mt. Everest.

But as is my custom, I can’t do anything about it until my vehicle needs its oil changed and the only way that’s going to happen is if I take the day off and drive to Cleveland and back.

I came up with the idea in 2008 to regulate my headshots according to my vehicular need to change the oil every 5,000 miles.

So far, it’s worked well. I usually drive about 15,000 miles a year so that’s three new headshots that allow me the opportunity to indulge my inner ham.

This one was taken January 8, smack in the teeth of winter. Its pesky duration’s taught me a lesson: never take a headshot picture with a short seasonal shelf life.

But to be fair, on January 8 I had every reason to believe this monster winter was never going to end. At the time, it seemed like we’d be toboganning clear through the Fourth of July.

Headshot trivia: The headshot may be worth preserving for historical reasons. That may have been the only time I smiled the entire winter. I mostly scowled from Halloween clear through Opening Day. How I wound up with a picture of me smiling and not looking like a homicidal-Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” defies the odds.

I think a day will come when most of us, vanity be damned, will update our headshots every single time we update our blogs or Facebook posts.

Our headshots will be like visual mood rings. The pictures will clue us in to whether the post will be worth reading or not.

“I see Tiffany has her diamond nose stud in tonight. I guess she’s got another date with that slam poet who shuns conventions like deodorant. Could she finally be sharing what she sees in that loser?”

Or, “Man, does Tommy look hungover. I gotta see if he lost his pants again!”

Or, “Looks like Mort spent the last six hours wallowing in on-line pornography. Eh, I’ll skip him today. His descriptions focus too much on action at the expense of essential plot.”

I just saw a really great headshot where the girl looks like she’s actually listening to God speak. It’s so lovely and reverential somebody should photoshop a halo above her head.

What I like about it, too, is the idea that in these narcissistic days of preening individuality there is still somebody who’d actually listen to God, rather than just bitch to Him about things like rain forecast for picnics.

For now, I’m stuck about what I should do after I return from getting the car’s oil changed.

I’m a traditionalist in that I’ve always favored the straightforward over props or other playful diversions.

I want my picture to say, “Hey, thanks so much for taking time to read my humble little blog. It means the world to me. If you keep reading and promise to tell friends, I’ll visit your house this weekend to mow your lawn and wash your car!”

I suppose if I really wanted it to say that, I’d smear lipstick on my kisser and pucker up.

One of my favorite pictures, one I’d like to someday emulate, is the one Van Morrison uses for the cover of his 1997 masterpiece, “The Healing Game,”
a collection so soulful I swear it can cure hangovers.

But the pose would look pretentious for me, I fear.

So I’m not sure what I’ll do for the still-momentous shot. I wish I could banish the vanity that stubbornly dominates these decisions.

I need to strike a balance between friendly and earnestness.

How I’ll do that, I cannot say.

I need time to think about it.

I’d take a long drive but, given the way I change headshots, that’d be counter-productive.

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